Searching for a postgraduate student house is never very easy.
There is plenty to consider when looking for the ideal student home as a postgrad, and unless you are searching in a town that you are already familiar with, you've also got the added risk of not quite understanding what you're letting yourself in for. Try and make sure you give yourself enough time so you are not in a panic to sign a contract for an unsuitable home.
Here are some of our tips on how to find your ideal student home to guarantee postgraduate student success.
Think about the location
So, you're moving to a new town? Pore over maps, speak to experts at your new university, and chat with current students to ensure that you know as much as you can about your new location and can therefore find a student home in the right place. Where are the bus routes and the cycle lanes? What is commuting like when you've got an early lecture? Choosing accommodation providers like Fresh Student Living takes much of the work out for new students. They've already got the commuting routes worked out and are built in handy locations for students from different universities and colleges.
What's the study space like?
A good study space is vital for your success on your course. You need a good spacious desk, a comfortable chair and the chance of having a little peace. Creating a study space is not difficult, but it will eat into your budget, so ideally you should choose a house, room or flat that already has one all set up. Most student accommodation will provide something, but you'll want to be sure so have a look yourself or check it out online. If you're choosing a private accommodation provider like Fresh Student Living you will be able to check all details online to put your mind at rest.
Is the area safe?
Speak with your university or student's union who will let you know what areas of your new town that they recommend to live in. Chatting with current or recent students is a good way to find out where to go and if you are an international student, then your institution's international office will have plenty of information about where you should live. Most universities have accommodation set aside for postgraduate students, but not all of them are going to guarantee every student a place, so start your search early so you can be comfortable in your new home.
Make sure it's comfortable
You don't want to be too hot or too cold, so check that there is sufficient central heating or that the air conditioning works well. Will there be enough hot water first thing in the morning? Look around the other rooms in the house or flat, does the bathroom seem a little small for four people to share and is there anywhere to eat that isn't on your lap? These little extra considerations will make life easier when you're sharing with others and keeps everyone getting along with each other.
Is the landlord reputable?
Speak with the student's union or association and get a list of approved landlords or choose to stay with a private accommodation provider like Fresh Student Living or in university halls of residence. This is a good way to be sure that your landlord is doing everything they're supposed to and another is to check with the local government's rented housing requirements. Check door locks, window locks, electrical or gas safety certificates, smoke detectors and fire alarms. If everything seems in order, then go ahead and set up your new student home.